Inpex Completes Pre-lay of Ichthys LNG Project's Mooring System Off WA

Japan's Inpex Corp. disclosed Thursday that the company-operated Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) Project reached a significant milestone with completion of the offshore pre-lay of the 48 mile (77 kilometer) chain and cable mooring system in the Browse Basin, located off the northern coast of Western Australia.

As part of the mooring system, 49 chains were laid on the seabed in water depths of up to 820 feet (250 meters) and anchored to foundation piles -- 18 feet (5.5 meters) in diameter and 207 feet (63 meters) long.

The mooring system will secure the Project’s two massive offshore facilities -- the Central Processing Facility (CPF) and Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility -- in the Ichthys Field seabed for at least 40 years of continuous operation.

Once located in the Field, the CPF will deliver natural gas and some condensate through a 553 mile (890 kilometer) subsea gas export pipeline to onshore processing facilities in the Northern Territory. Most condensate will be processed through the FPSO and shipped directly to market from the Field.

Supplying more than 40,000 tons of large-scale anchor chains for the Project represented nearly 18 months of worldwide chain production. Each chain link weighs more than 700 kilograms.

The 28 CPF mooring chains required more than 25,000 tons of mainly 7 inch (178 millimeter) diameter chain, while the 21 FPSO mooring chains needed more than 15,000 tons of mainly 6.3 inch (161 millimeter) diameter chain.

The mooring system is part of the complex network of subsea infrastructure and equipment across the Ichthys Field.

Ichthys Project Managing Director Louis Bon said the mooring system pre-lay was a significant undertaking with challenging soil conditions for the piling scope of work.

“Despite the difficulty of the task, I’m proud to say that it was successfully completed without a single Lost Time Injury or any harm to the environment,” Bon said.

“For example, because the Ichthys Field is located just 74.6 miles (120 kilometers) from the main hump back whale migratory routes and calving grounds of North West Australia, an early decision was made to avoid pile driving during the whale calving period where associated underwater noise may have created a disturbance.”

Bon said the successful completion of the mooring chains pre-lay marked another major step ahead of the arrival of the CPF and FPSO currently under construction in ship yards in South Korea and, once completed, will be towed 3,480 miles (5,600 kilometers) to the Ichthys Field.

"The offshore facilities will operate for decades and the mooring system plays a key role in ensuring their integrity.”

In addition to the mooring system, more than 16,000 tons of subsea structures and 87 miles (140 kilometers) of rigid flowlines have been installed across the Ichthys Field to safely and efficiently extract gas and condensate.

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Bassam El Wazni | May. 17, 2016
I have a question for INPEX? Is it correct that the life of Ichthys gas & condensate reserves will last for 40 years? I doubt that..... Simple & direct calculation is as follow: To produce 8.9 million tons of LNG per year and 1.6 million tons of LPG, it is required a feed gas rate of 1.65 BSCF/day to the onshore plant, Hence the life of the gas reserves will be: =(12.8 )/(0.00165 x 335)=23.16 years. Providing a shut down for one month is carried out every year for maintenance. The 23 years may go down if other loses during production is considered such as flaring during unplanned shutdown, plant upset and methane loses in the nitrogen rejection unit during purification of LNG.

Bassam El Wazni | May. 13, 2016
The life of Ichthys gas field as per the gas reserve of 12.8 TCF and at annual LNG production of 8.9 Million tons will not be 40 years. At best it will be 28 years. Also, according to the condensate reserve of 550 million bbls and at condensate production of 100,000 bbls/day the condensate production will last only for 16.5 years. Seems there is some thing wrong in INPEX calculation and figures. At current price of 45 US dollar a barrel and at 5 US dollar per MMBTU the total revenue for the life of the Ichthys projects will not exceed 89 billion Us dollars. If operating cost is deducted and the money to pay back the lenders is taken from the total revenue then profit per year will be nothing hence this project will not deliver a good rate of return for its 38 billion US dollar investment.


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